Mercury no longer rising, Rachel Veitch stops driving her 1964 Comet 'Chariot'

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Five years after becoming an international celebrity at age 88 as the sole owner and sole driver of a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente, Rachel Veitch has stopped driving. Veitch, who recently turned age 93, told FoxNews.com that she is legally blind and will no longer drive the yellow Comet she called "Chariot."

"They don't have to take it away," Veitch said of the car with about 576,000 miles on its chasis. "I would not dream of driving that car again."

After running a red light in March, Veitch volunteered to stopped driving the car she bought new on Feb. 17, 1964 for $3,289. The four-door Caliente has a tan interior, a 164-horsepower/260-cubic-inch V-8, automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering and every other available option except power brakes.

Veitch of Orlando, Florida, drove the Comet about 1,000 miles per month for about 48 years. Most of the miles Veitch drove were to her job as a cardiac nurse. She retired in 1990 at age 72.

Veitch was first featured in a three-minute video in 2007 on GrowingBolder.com, a website for active older adults. The video detailed the purchase of her car and the miles she drove. It has been viewed more than six million times.

In addition to NBC's Today Show, Veitch was a guest in 2010 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the late-night talk show host and car-collecting mogul.

Vietch is fond of noting the car outlasted three marriages. Mechanically, it's worn through three sets of shocks, 18 batteries and eight mufflers.

 

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